Darkwater - Swamp Head Brewery
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 18 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by mullenite:
4.35/5 rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Pours with a black body with red-brown highlights at the edges. A thin tan head caps the beer and leaves very little lacing on the glass.
What this beer lacks in appearance is made up for in every other aspect.
The aroma is chocolate, dark malts (not roasty), and lots of American hops.
The taste follows the nose to a T. The hops are floral and fruity and very bright which matches nicely with the mild, milk chocolate and dark fruit flavors provided by the malts. The bitterness is very smooth and balanced nicely with the flavor of the hops.
Medium bodied beer with a nice mild carbonation that accentuates that body and the chocolate flavors.
Overall I really enjoy this beer, it is right up there with the other Black IPAs that are out there, albeit a bit different as you can actually taste the "black" part of the name.
Serving type: on-tap
03-13-2011 16:18:34 | More by mullenite
More User Reviews:
3.8/5 rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Opaque deep brown with a thin tannish white head. Good lacing and very thin collar. Aroma of dark caramel and chocolate. Taste is very chocolatey, but of dark chocolate. Also dark malt. Medium body and low-medium carbonation. Decent beer. Damn I hate this character limit.
Serving type: bottle
01-02-2014 03:55:00 | More by mverity
3.89/5 rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Russian River pint glass.
A: Very dark brown, and pretty hazy. More than a finger of off-white head but just a bit of visible carbonation.
S: Not a big aroma here. Roasted malts, grapefruit and pine hops...not too exciting.
T: Roasted malts with subdued coffee character, pine and grapefruit pith hops. This isn't particularly complex but has a nice flavor. A restrained bitterness in the hang, seems to be a combination of hops and roasted bitterness.
M: Heavy body for style, moderate alcohol presence, and the carbonation sensation stays on the low side.
O: This was pretty good, and I wouldn't hesitate to drink it again if I found it on tap somewhere. But probably not something I'd go out of my way to have again. There are some more easily available and superior black IPAs around.
Serving type: bottle
09-18-2013 03:03:09 | More by macrosmatic
3.6/5 rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
If there's a line where IPA meets Porter, then Swamp Head's Darkwater Ale is dancing across that high wire with ease.
A billowing head rises from the depths of the milky, dark brown ale underneath. Sandy in its froth, the mix of large and small bubbles is confident in its retention and laces equally as impressively. Its a fantastic looking ale that's easily mistaken for Porter.
But there's no such mistake as the first whiff reveals an unexpected sharpness from hops. White grapefruit, oranges, a pep of lemon and an array of earthy notes reveal its deviant hoppy side. What starts of piney turns grassy, bark-like, and with a toasted smoky-chocolate note.
To taste, the drier-than-usual Porter taste is toasty and with a hint of campfire and bittersweet chocolate. Roasted pecans, burnt embers and freshly sawn pine gives the beer a heft that's uncommon to IPA. But all that hop character that rises in the middle palate sure does. Less juicy and sweet, the sharper varieties of charred white grapefruit, orange peels, light lemon and juniper and stemmy sassafras close in on its accute resinous bitterness to finish.
Medium-dry in texture, the beer struggles to capture the full dryness of IPA with all that dark malt flavor and weight swirling about. Still, the ale achieves a mostly toasty-dry body with the assistance of hop dryness and warming alcohol late. But coming along also is some hop and grain derived astringency that gives the beer a palate sensation of tannin-rich wood spices.
Darkwater is a fantastic beer. But there's a difference between "Cascadian" or American Black Ale and a hoppy Porter. I'd love to see more vibrant (juicier) hop aroma and taste with a drier Karafa-lead IPA.
Serving type: bottle
09-05-2013 17:40:39 | More by BEERchitect
Darkwater from Swamp Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.